Fred learns to eat (squid) of tongs while in holding
Our relationship with "Fred" began with an email. Our aquarium professionals' list-serve occasionally includes postings for animals that need to be rehoused for a variety of reasons. Most of these fishes have outgrown their tanks at private residences and need more space; this is most often the case with large freshwater Amazonian species (e.g. pacu, redtail catfishes, etc) or shark species. Well-meaning fish hobbyists purchase these animals while they are young and still small, but they soon find out these types of animals are simply going to be too large to keep as mature animals. Such was the case with Fred. A couple in Long Island, NY appealed to the nearby public aquaria which posted their request to the list serve for a new home. Sadly, common animal species often do not get placed but more desirable species often find homes quickly. Many that do not, are often released into the wild to pose a problem for native wildlife (e.g. northern snakehead, lionfish). Whenever possible we try to accept animals that we can take for the sake of all involved.
Lionfish (above) are an invasive species thought to have been introduced from escaped/released pets
Corey checks systems on our transport bin before the trip to NY
Nurse sharks are a warm-water species and very common in the tropics but occasionally venture into temperate waters. They are one of the more sedentary shark species and largely nocturnal, laying still in on or near structure throughout the day and feeding by night.
Fred laying next to his favorite bucket in our holding tank - he often sleeps with his head in it.
Nurse sharks have an excellent sense of smell aided by barbels at the sides of their mouths, and peruse the bottom to feed on benthic invertebrates and crustaceans by sucking them from the substrate or simply crushing their shells. Nurse sharks are shy and docile to humans choosing to hide given the chance but are eager for food, making them an easy shark species to keep in captivity. Unfortunately, get too large - up to 200 lbs. - and powerful for any home aquarium in spite of their popularity. Fred's new tank-mates are a variety of native Mid-Atlantic species including: cobia, bluefish, jacks, triple-tails, grouper, a sandbar shark, black drum, and a loggerhead sea turtle.
Fred's soon-to-be tank mate - "Kay" the sandbar shark - is a more active shark species